First-ever Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs takes the helm at newly established United Nations Youth Office
05 December 2023
NEW YORK, UN Headquarters, 1 December 2023 — The global youth agenda enters a new era today, as the first-ever Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs Dr. Felipe Paullier takes the lead at the newly established United Nations Youth Office.
Following the recommendation in the Secretary-General's groundbreaking report "Our Common Agenda", Member States unanimously agreed to the establishment of the UN Youth Office as a dedicated entity for youth affairs within the Secretariat, building upon more than a decade of work led by the Secretary-General's Envoys on Youth, and marking a pivotal breakthrough for the revitalization and expansion of the UN's engagement with and for youth.
Over many decades, the UN has made significant strides in advancing the rights and opportunities of young people. Youth empowerment is not just a matter of equity; it holds immense social and economic potential. Empowering young people drives vibrant societies, fosters innovation, and accelerates progress.
Yet, disparities affecting youth persist in every corner of the world. Young people face challenges such as limited access to education, employment and health services, and their voices often go unheard in decision-making processes.
"We are establishing a United Nations Youth Office in the UN Secretariat — building on nearly a decade of important work done by the two Envoys on Youth — to advance efforts towards stronger advocacy, coordination, and accountability for and with young people," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The establishment of the UN Youth Office marks a pivotal breakthrough for the revitalization and expansion of the UN's engagement with and for youth, with a focus on addressing these challenges and opportunities.
Guided by the UN’s systemwide youth strategy, Youth2030, the UN Youth Office will lead efforts to enhance collaboration, coordination and accountability on youth affairs, ensuring that the United Nations works effectively and inclusively with young people in all their diversity.
Through the fostering of multi-stakeholder intergenerational solidarity, the UN Youth Office's mission focuses on strengthening meaningful, inclusive and effective youth engagement across all pillars of the UN’s work, including sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security.
On 28 October 2023, the Secretary-General announced Dr. Felipe Paullier as the first Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs. Dr. Paullier officially assumes his mandate today, becoming the youngest ever senior appointment in the history of the UN.
“With the establishment of the UN Youth Office, we mark the start of a new era for the UN system,” said Dr. Felipe Paullier, Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs. “As I assume my mandate, I am eager to begin meeting with young people from all corners of the world, both virtually and on-the-ground in their communities. Learning from young people’s experiences over the coming months will be critical in helping me to shape an action plan for the new Youth Office that ensures no young person is left behind.”
Dr. Paullier was previously the Director General of the National Youth Institute of Uruguay, a position he held since 2020. Prior to that, he served in various political management positions, including as Deputy Mayor in the Municipality of the CH jurisdiction of Montevideo (2015-2020) and Alternate Counsellor in the Montevideo Departmental Legislative Court (2010-2015). Dr. Paullier is a Medical Doctor specialized in Pediatrics by training.
About the UN Youth Office
As an unwavering champion and advocate for young people everywhere, the UN Youth Office envisions a world in which all young people are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them most. We lead system-wide collaboration, coordination and accountability on youth affairs, harmonizing the ways the United Nations works with and for young people in all their diversity. By fostering multi-stakeholder intergenerational solidarity, our work focuses on strengthening meaningful, inclusive and effective youth engagement in the areas of sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security. For more information, follow @UNYouthAffairs on social media.
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